Our last blog focused on the health dangers of chronic, long-term stress. In a perfect world, Part 2 of this series would focus on eliminating all the toxic stress in your life but unfortunately, stress seems to be simply a fact of life that we all have to learn how to manage. And it’s important to note that people deal with their stress in many different ways and those that can handle high stress situations better than others.
Instead, Part 2 includes some quick, simple suggestions on ways to manage your stress.
Part 3 of this blog series (coming soon!) on toxic stress will focus on identifying your stressors and eliminating the ones you can control. You’d be surprised how many are actually within your control.
But, until then, try these stress relieving strategies next time you find yourself in a stressful situation:
Use your 5 senses
This can be a powerful and easy way to relieve stress no matter where you are. Some people respond more to a certain sense (smell, sound, sight or touch) and there are some where having several options may work.
You’ll notice we didn’t mention taste because people have a tendency to “eat” their feelings and that’s not anything we want to encourage.
- Create a playlist of favorite upbeat songs to listen to. The kind of songs that no matter when or where you hear them, you can’t help but smile and sing along.
- Keep pictures on your phone of your family, happy memories or beautiful images of mountains or beaches. Anything that allows you to transport yourself somewhere else temporarily.
- Recreate smells that trigger happy memories. Whether it’s smells that trigger happy memories or one of the many stress relieving essential oils, the sense of smell can be a powerful stress reliever. Essential oils are always touted as being great stress relievers and for good reason. They work. can often be helpful. Lavender tends to be the most popular but there are a number of different oils out there that can help with stress, anxiety, etc.
- Squeeze something. There’s a reason there’s so many versions of stress balls and toys out there. Repeatedly squeezing and releasing an object allows the muscles to relax which can alleviate tension and stress.
- Give or get a hug. A simple hug can be miracle worker IF you’re a hugger. It relaxes the muscles, releases endorphins in your body and can even increase levels of dopamine and serotonin.
Have a short list of friends or family who can talk you off the edge
We all have friends who serve different purposes in our life. Those that can unknowingly cause extra stress and some who know exactly what to say to put your mind at ease. It’s those friends you want to check in with when you’re stressed.
Get outside for some fresh air, play your favorite song and bust a move (who cares if anyone is watching!) or take a quick walk around your building if you’re pressed for time
Acknowledge your stress
It sounds simple but simply taking the time to stop what you’re doing, taking some deep breaths and admitting (either to yourself or one of the people on your list) can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
This last tip is a preview of Part 3 of our Toxic Stress series.
Make a list of what’s causing your stress
Here’s a hint, it’s usually not just one thing.
Part 3 of our series will be coming soon but in the meantime, try some of these strategies and see which ones work best for you .
Important note: If you’re feeling so stressed that it’s causing serious physical or mental health issues, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Our medical professionals have experience in helping clients manage their stress and anxiety. Call us at 817-904-3886 to schedule an appointment